Rights Owners, Internet Companies Far Apart In Australian Copyright Consultation

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Responses to an Australian government proposal for fighting online copyright infringement show a wide gap between rights holders and internet companies on liability, and website blocking.

Libraries May Be Permitted To Digitise Books Without Copyright Owner’s Consent, EU High Court Rules

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European Union governments may allow libraries to digitise books in their collection without rights owners’ consent in order to make them available at electronic reading posts, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said on 11 September. If library users want to print works out on paper or store them on a USB stick, however, rights holders must be fairly compensated.

EU High Court Parody Ruling Could Create Problems, IP Attorneys Say

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A 3 September European Court of Justice decision on the concept of “parody” is a controversial attempt to harmonise copyright law judicially where legislative efforts have failed, and raises more questions than it answers, intellectual property lawyers said. But the decision won’t affect implementation of the United Kingdom’s new copyright exception for parody, the UK Intellectual Property Office said.

UK Adopts Private Copying Exception As Some Rightholders Mull Legal Action

A new United Kingdom copyright exception for private copying cleared Parliament on 29 July and will become law in October. The change brought cheers from high-tech and digital rights groups. UK Music, however, said the new regulation will hurt creators and that it is considering legal action.

Human Eggs That Can’t Develop Into Human Beings Should Be Patentable, EU High Court Advisor Says

Unfertilised human eggs that can’t develop into human beings are generally not “human embryos” within the meaning of the EU directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions, a 17 July European Court of Justice Advocate General opinion said. The opinion is good news for researchers into stem cell therapies, said a member of the industry group IP Federation, who added he hopes it will be upheld by the ECJ. But one biotech civil society member said the ruling, if it stands, could be abused.

EPO President Battistelli’s Term Extended Amid Staff Concerns

The term of European Patent Office (EPO) President Benoît Battistelli has been extended for three years to 30 June 2018. The vote by the European Patent Organisation Administrative Council strongly backed Battistelli’s quality and efficiency reforms, but sparked unhappiness from staff who see the president as a “dictator”.

WIPO Chief Calls for Seamless, Global, Legal Digital Content Regime

ATHENS – In what the representative of a major consumer group called a “big step,” World Intellectual Property Organization Director General Francis Gurry on 6 June called for development of a seamless, global, legal, digital content marketplace that could offer the chance to bridge seemingly intractable copyright issues. Speaking at a conference in Athens hosted by the Greek EU Presidency on copyright and Europe’s digital agenda, Gurry said the search for such a market should take the form of a dialogue that includes all stakeholders.

UK IP Advisor Points To Online Search Engines To Do More Against Piracy

Search engines don’t cause internet piracy but they could do more to stamp it out, the UK Prime Minister’s intellectual property advisor says in a new paper.

EPO Internal Strife Spills Over Into European Parliament, Human Rights Court

Relations between European Patent Office (EPO) staff and senior officials, already tense due to work issues with President Benoît Battistelli, have been further undermined by the continuing presence of Vice-President Željko Topić, according to a source close to the situation. Claims about Topić’s suitability for office by one of his former employees at the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) have now reached the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), while a petition by the Association for the Advancement of the Rule of Law (Juris Protecta) in Croatia has been filed in the European Parliament.

European Patent Office Staff Calls Strike; President Battistelli Reacts

European Patent Office (EPO) employees on 13 March approved seven office-wide strike days, starting on 21 March. The move follows an increasingly tense stand-off between the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) and President Benoît Battistelli over, as a union document put it, timely access to justice, freedom of speech and freedom of association. The deteriorating relationship between employees and office officials prompted one French lawmaker to ask government ministers to rethink their country’s support for Battistelli’s reappointment. If unresolved, the labour issues could end up subjecting the EPO to closer scrutiny as it prepares to administer the EU unitary patent, one source close to the situation said.